ELKINS – Two-time Big 10 Conference Player of the Year John Riley will take his game to Davis & Elkins College next fall. The Lewis County High School graduate recently signed a letter of intent to play hoops for the Senators.
“Once I visited the campus, I knew it was where I wanted to go,” Riley told The Inter-Mountain. “I love the family type atmosphere. The guys were all very welcoming. I saw some of their offensive and defensive sets and I love their type of offensive scheme. They play my type of game.”
While in high school, Riley earned a long list of achievements including Class AAA All-State first team and All- Big 10 Conference his senior year. He was named to both All-State and All-Conference squads all four years of high school.
“Being in college will be a big change, but I’m looking forward to it,” Riley said. “Everyone can play when it comes to the collegiate level, so I’m going to have to work even harder. I want to earn a starting spot and eventually help D&E become a contender.”
Riley averaged 24 points and 12 rebounds and scored 20 or more points in 15 of 23 games. He also posted double-figure rebounds in 17 contests.
“I remember when I called Johnny up to varsity,” LCHS coach Charles Simms said. “We had just played the first two games his freshman year and I had three seniors quit. I had to bring him up and he responded by notching double-doubles in his first 12 games.”
Riley finished his career as the Minutemen’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder, with 1,867 points and more than 1,100 rebounds.
“Johnny is just getting started,” Simms said. “He’s one of those kids who wants to learn. He’s going to learn so much more once he gets in college. I told everyone who wasn’t looking at him that they’re going to regret not signing him in a couple of years.”
Simms believes D&E is a good fit for Riley. He said Riley has the size and ability to make an immediate impact.
“He’s got really superior footwork inside,” Simms said. “He’s really intelligent and decides where to go based on how the defense is playing him. He’s really developed his mid-range game and he’s been working on his outside game, too. Defensively, he’s a monster under the bucket.”